Sculpting strong, muscular arms is not just about aesthetics. (Although that's a solid bonus!) Think about how much your arm strength matters in daily life. You use your arms to lift and carry heavy objects such as filled laundry baskets, packages, and groceries; perform household chores; and engage in sports like swimming and pickleball. Strong arms even serve as protection against falls and slips. That's why we consulted with fitness pro and the founder of GroomBuilder, Anthony J. Yeung, CSCS, who shares five of the best arm workouts for muscle definition as you age.
Let's get one thing straight: Performing strength exercises for your upper body is just as crucial as working out your lower body via strength training as you age, Kadalyst Wellness and Physical Therapy explains. Increasing your supply of muscle mass is a necessary step to take in order to maintain your independence and live your best, healthiest life. Today, we're focusing on the upper body with Yeung's top-recommended arm workouts for muscle definition as you age. Keep reading to learn all about them. And next, don't miss 7 Exercise Habits That Are Destroying Your Arms After 50.
Narrow-Grip Chin-Ups: According to MasterClass, performing narrow-grip chin-ups efficiently adds muscle to your biceps. Your palms will face your body as you assume a supinated grip on the pull-up bar. Utilize a small range of motion to bring your chin over the bar, and then gradually descend to the starting position. Yeung instructs you to complete three sets of five reps.
Narrow-Width Pushups: To begin narrow-width (or close-grip) pushups, assume a high plank on all fours. Place your hands just a few inches apart from each other (closer than the distance of your shoulder span), MasterClass instructs. Your shoulders should be lined up with your hands, and your back and legs should be straight. Bend both elbows to descend toward the floor. Press your body back up by straightening both elbows. Complete five sets of 10 reps.
Complete the two below exercises without resting in between.
Band Bicep Curls: This exercise is a stellar way to boost the strength of your upper arms. All you need is a resistance band! You'll begin by placing both feet in the middle of a resistance band. Your stance should be shoulder-width. The ends of the band should be in both hands. Then, bend both elbows as you curl and pull the band upward. Using control, lower both arms back down. Be sure to keep the ends of the bands in your hands as you lower them to avoid injury. Complete five sets of 35 to 50 reps.
Band Tricep Pushdowns: You'll begin this exercise by planting your feet on the floor shoulder-width distance apart. Hinge your hips just a bit. Tuck both elbows. Your upper arms should be by the sides of your body and your forearms should be by your chest as you hold onto the resistance band, Steel Supplements explains. Breathe in, and activate your core. Then, initiate the "pushdown" movement by bringing the band to your hips, completely extending your elbows without locking them out. Maintain a straight back during the pushdown motion. Next, breathe out, and use control as you bring the band back up to the starting position. Complete five sets of 35 to 50 reps.
EZ Bar Curls: EZ bar curls aren't as harsh on your wrist joints when compared to straight barbell bicep curls, Inspire US reports. Doing bicep curls with an EZ bar is a safe way to go about the exercise, therefore lowering your risk of suffering from an injury. Yeung instructs you to complete four sets of 12 reps of EZ bar curls for this workout.
Rope Tricep Pushdowns: To set up, attach a rope to a cable. Make sure you're standing a couple of feet away from the rope and cable. Take hold of the ends of the rope. Maintain a tall chest, squeeze your shoulder blades together, and keep your elbows close to the sides of your body. Then, exhale as you push the rope down toward your thighs. Using control, inhale as you bring your arms back up to the starting position. Complete four sets of 12 reps.
Farmer's Carry: To perform the farmer's carry, you can hold a dumbbell or kettlebell in each hand. Hold the weights by the sides of your body as you walk while maintaining good posture for 30 yards. Complete three sets.
Waiter's Walk: Next up is the waiter's walk. You'll grab onto a kettlebell's handle with one hand, and assume the proper position by lining up your elbow with your shoulder. Press your elbow out around 45 degrees. Keep your spine tall as you walk for 30 yards. Complete three sets.
Bear Crawls: This bodyweight exercise will put your shoulders, abs, and quads to work. According to ClassPass, you'll begin on all fours. Bring both knees up about one inch off the floor so they form a 90-degree angle. Bring your right hand and your left leg forward to initiate the bear crawl, and then repeat on the opposite side. Keep alternating for 30 yards. Complete three sets.
Plate Curls: Plate curls target your biceps, Hevy App explains. You'll begin this exercise by holding the sides of a weight plate at your hips. The bottom of the plate should be touching your thighs. Activate your abs, and inhale. Then, bend both elbows in order to "curl" the weight plate. Both wrists should be just above your elbows as you remain in this position for a second. Bring the plate back down in a controlled, gradual motion as you breathe out. Completely straighten your arms, then perform another rep. Complete four sets of 15 reps.
Hammer Curls: Hammer curls will boost the strength and size of your arms, Steel Supplements explains. You'll begin the exercise by planting your feet shoulder-width distance apart and holding a dumbbell in each hand at the sides of your body. Your palms should be in toward your body. Bend both elbows just a bit, and activate your abs. Then, initiate the curling motion by bending at the elbow. Curl the weights upward so that your lower arms make contact with your upper arms. Then, slowly lower the dumbbells back down to the position you started in. Complete four sets of 10 reps.
Narrow-Width Pushups: This exercise wraps up Yeung's arm workouts for muscle definition as you age. Narrow-width pushups are similar to regular pushups, but you'll be placing your hands closer together than you would for traditional pushups. Line your shoulders up with your hands, and maintain a straight back and legs as you assume a high plank. Bend both elbows to descend toward the floor. Then, press your body back up to the starting position. Complete four sets of 10 reps.